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Location

46 villages and 16 urban slum localities in Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh
Thematic Intervention: Protection, Education


Project Context

In 1992 Mrs. J. Lalithamma established People’s Organization for Rural Development (PORD) with an objective to build awareness among Dalits community and to work for sustainable development. PORD started its activities in Thamballapalle Mandal which is underdeveloped and where the situation of Dalit and tribal (especially of women and children) is poor. Presently it is operating in Thambalapalle and Madanapalle Mandal. The organization is the member in the networks and committees such as CRY promoted AP State Advocacy Alliance, AP Women’s Network, Women’s Power Connect (Delhi), National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) state NGOs network, Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act district Monitoring Committee and Mandal Legal Service Authority etc. PORD had received many National and State awards in recognition long standing social services. Some of the achievements of the organization are as below:

Problem Statement:


The project interventions have been able to keep 43 out of 62 habitations free of any school dropout. However, there are 37 dropout reported in the operational area out of which 15 are boys and 22 are girls. 16 belong to the age-group of 6 - 14 and 21 in the 15 - 18 age-groups. Migration in the absence of locally available livelihood avenues, poor economic conditions of the families, poor access to schools, and low quality education are the main reasons for this. Other reasons observed are absence of separate toilets for girls in schools, need to take care of younger siblings at home, bread-winner in the family dying, fixing of child marriage, absence of schools with higher grades in short distance, and corporal punishment in schools. Majority of the current dropout are either helping parents in farm works or staying at home idle.

There are 101 children in child labor in the operational area, 47 in Madanapalle (urban), 54 in Thambalapalli. 10 of them belong to 6 - 14 years age group, while the rest of 91 belong to 15 - 18 years age group, 53 being boys and 48 are girls. While 72 children working as child labor are working locally and while staying with family, another 26 are working while staying with family at a migrated place. Only 3 children are working as child labor while staying away from home. 35 of them are working as agriculture farm laborer and 65 are working in unorganized sector. During the year 2017, the project identified 40 children in situation of getting married in childhood and could successfully stop 8 of them. 18 child marriages happened in Madanapalle and 14 happened in Thamballapalle Mandal. The 8 child marriages successfully stopped were all girls. The project was successful in ensuring that no child marriages happened in 39 villages of Thambalapalli & 7 colonies of Madanapalli during the year. However, more strategic interventions are required in 7 villages in Thambalapalli and 9 colonies in Madanapalle where child marriages happened this year. Among the 32 children who got married in childhood, 10 were dropouts prior to the time of marriage, 17 were engaged as child labor at the time of marriage, and 12 were dropped out at the time of marriage. It was noted that 9 marriages were consanguineous in nature.

Achievements & Impact


Key Result Area: Reduce child labor and school dropouts in the project area

Program Activities Planned Progress and Achievements

? Conduct awareness programs / Kalajathas on child labor at community level. Sensitize parents of child labor and dropouts, and other parents on the importance of education especially for girl child education.
? Strengthen SMCs by ensuring regular meetings and parents regular participation in meetings.
? Track and ensure transition of children from primary to upper primary school, high school and higher education.
? Conduct convergence meetings to ensure action is taken by concerned officials to release the child labor.

? 29 child labor and 41 school dropouts have been mainstreamed as a result of various project efforts such as tracking, sensitization of parents, strengthening children collectives, media coverage, and stakeholder engagements.
? Project identified 33 doctors, explained the various problems being faced by children involved in labor work and requested their support in counseling the health implications being faced by children involved in work.


Key Result Area: Reduce instances of child marriages in the project area

Program Activities Planned Progress and Achievements

? Create awareness in the community about girl-child schemes and protection mechanisms available against child marriages. Assist families in applying for girl-child schemes.
? Assist girls from most needy families and girls from families where parents migrate seasonally to get into social welfare hostels.
? Sensitize priests and caste leaders on the issue of child marriage and urge their involvement in preventing child marriages.
? Ensure convergence meetings between government departments for better coordination towards preventing the child marriages.

? 58 potential cases of child marriages were identified during the period. Out of these, 41 have been averted and the project was able to stop 8 marriages during the reporting period.
? Project sensitized 144 families by involving various stakeholders on child marriage issues and counseled the parents about ill effects of child marriage.
? 3 religious leaders were sensitized on Child marriage issue, their role in verification of girl age, counseling parents to prevent child marriages.
? 14 teachers from 13 schools sensitized families on the issue of child marriage. As a result, 7 child marriages were prevented.


Key Result Area: Strengthen all child collectives and agency of children

Program Activities Planned Progress and Achievements

? Give training to child collective leaders on how to conduct the child collective meetings and write the meeting minutes.
? Encourage child collective members to discuss the issues of their schools in their child collective meetings and raise school level issues with their teachers.
? Facilitate discussions between school-going and non-school-going children in order to make non-school-going children to rethink about going back to school.

? Partner has been successful in strengthening 31 children collectives during the period.
? The project has successfully promoted leadership skills among 26 girls and 35 boys.
? 2 role models have been promoted from Ambedkar Balala Sangaham(children collective) from Thambalapalli, and Srirama child collective from Gundlapalli. Both children averted child marriages on their own.

Other Highlight Processes and Achievements – 2018:


? The project partner was able to ensure success rate of 97% children in the 10th board exam by encouraging school teachers and lecturers to pay special attention to 10th and 12th class children and by advising children to prepare well for the exams.
? Project encouraged Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) members to visit the families where there is child labor and dropout and potential threat of child marriages. 8 Sarpanches (village head), 5 Municipal Councilors and 13 Ward Members visited 92 families and counseled parents against child labor, dropout and child marriages. Their involvement was instrumental in stopping of child marriages and mainstreaming of dropouts. Also, because of this intervention, PRI members realized the importance of their role at community level.

Highlights on community action and government interface:


• Project conducted convergence meetings on the issues of child labor and child marriages in 5 Gram Panchayat in Thamballapalle and 2 urban wards in Madanapalle in which 106 stakeholders participated. These meetings helped in explaining about the seriousness of issues; negative impacts of child marriage; roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders; and how they should work in convergence to address the issues.

Engagement with the Government:


In the year 2018, CHARDS carried on from last year’s efforts with respect to seeking sanction for a sub center in Bardaha GP and for an upgraded PHC in Madhubani ghat GP. They adopted multi-pronged strategies to take this further. At district level they met with the District magistrate, District project officer etc. and followed it up with a meeting with state level officials. The process is still on and the project team is hopeful that consistent engagement will lead to outcomes. In another initiative, last year 5 new ICDS centres were sanctioned but the process of recruitment happened in 2018 and the CHARD team regularly followed up with the concerned officials to ensure the recruitments.

Plans


Key Result Areas Program Activities Planned

Reduce child labor And school dropouts in the project area.

? Sensitize & counseling of parents of child labor / drop out and other parents on the importance of education especially girl child education. ? Conduct awareness programs / Kalajathas (folk plays) on child labor. ? Involve CBOs in mainstreaming the child labor / drop-outs. ? Interface with Education Department and with Social Welfare Department for improvement of infrastructure in schools and hostels, appointing sufficient teachers, and against closure of schools in the name of rationalization. ? Demand for formation of Panchayat & Mandal Child Protection Committees. ? Track all children in the age group of 15-18 years and ensure their transition from upper primary to high school, and high school to higher education courses.



Key Result Areas Program Activities Planned

Reduce instances of child marriages in the project area.

? Identify and assist families in applying for social security benefits from government. ? Assist girls from most needy families and girls from families where parents migrate seasonally to get into social welfare hostels. ? Ensure convergence meetings between government departments for better coordination towards preventing the child marriages. ? Sensitize families against traditions, customs and negative attitude towards girl children that result in child marriages, harmful impacts of child marriage. ? Encourage teachers to visit families where child marriages might happen / where child marriages are fixed and to counsel parents. ? Create awareness and encourage Media to publish articles and news about child marriages. ? Assist families in applying for benefits in girl-child focused schemes. (Caste certificates, scholarships, bus pass, Medical certificates for differently abled girls, special scholarships under ICPS).



Key Result Areas Program Activities Planned

Strengthen all child collectives and agency of children

? Promote leadership development among children through capacity building trainings. ? Introduce life skills modules on "leadership" and "problem solving" to child collectives. ? Encourage child collective members to discuss the issues of their schools in their child collective meetings. ? Collect information from children about economic vulnerability in their families, without hurting the feelings of children. ? Identify sports talents in children and encourage them to participate in the school and outside events. ? Conduct story-telling sessions with children and encourage children to create their own stories and share with other children.

Financial Summary: January to December 2018


Budget Breakup 2018

Education

4,044

10%

Protection

23,422

61%

Participation

270

1%

Administration

10,779

28%

Total Grant Approved

38,515

100%